Chowmahalla Palace – Hyderabad, India
If history, architecture or just plain beauty interests you… The Chowmahalla Palace is a MUST SEE when you visit the beautiful city of Hyderabad.
“But some buildings remain. To tell tales of a land that now morphs to re-emerge as a developed city. And when one goes back to those remains one realises the true nature of clutter and ruin in the name of development.” – Maryanne Fernandez
The drive towards the Chowmahalla Palace slowly takes you away from the urban city of Hyderabad to the old city. Through tiny crowded roads, past the famous Charminar, and all the authentic shopping that Hyderabad is known for you finally escape the sounds of traffic as you drive into the grounds of the majestic Chowmahalla Palace.
Entering the grounds is like entering a whole new world. A world of Nizam’s and monarchy.
The name Chowmahalla comes from the Urdu word ‘chow’ meaning four and ‘mahalat’ which is the plural of ‘mahal’ meaning palace. The seat of the Asaf Jahi dynasty, the Chowmahalla Palace was the official residence of the Nizams of Hyderabad. All prestigious occasions including the accession of the Nizam’s and receptions for the Governor-General were held here. The original palace covered 45 acres, but today only 14 acres remain.
The Chowmahalla Palace has been restored and is now open to public. The northern courtyard of the palace is open to private and corporate bookings for weddings and dinners.
The architecture of the palace contains the typical Mughal domes and arches with several Persian elements like the ornate stucco work that is found all over the palace.
The Khilwat Mubarak is the heart of the palace and was the seat of the Asaf Jahi dynasty. The majestic pillared Durbar Hall has a pure marble platform where the royal seat was laid. Walking through the hall and witnessing the reflection of light through the crystal chandeliers is truly magical.
If you have the time to look around, the corridors that look down on the Durbar Hall are filled with the Nizam’s furniture, paintings and cutlery. Observing the intricacies of the architecture can be extremely interesting. If you look close enough you’ll find ventilation gaps in the ceilings that we don’t see in our homes today, odd looking switch boxes, and beautifully carved balconies, doors, windows and staircase railings.
While walking around the Chowmahalla Palace grounds look out for the Clock Tower, affectionately called the Khilwat Clock that has been ticking for around 250 years now. The clock is still repaired and wound by the same family of expert clock repairers. They currently have a shop in Lad Bazaar in the old city.
Don’t forget to check out the Nizam’s very own automobile collection!
From chariots to bikes and cars, they’ve got it all! They’ve even got the custom made Rolls Royce Silver Ghost Throne Car which was made for the Nizam in 1911! (PS – its only done 356 miles. For all you Indian’s out there – that’s only 572 kms).
10am to 5pm
(The Palace is closed on Fridays)
Admission Ticket Details (Prices in INR)
General Admission Ticket: Rs. 50
Children (below 12 years) Admission Ticket: Rs. 10
Non-Indian Admission Ticket: Rs. 200
Photography Charges (Camera/Mobile): Rs. 50
Video Camera: Rs. 100